Hi all, we are going on a cruise around the mediteranean in a few days and were wondering if anyone had any ideas of what to do independently rather than go on an organised tour. The ports of call are Palmero (Sicily), Naples, Olbia (Sardinia), Toulon (France), and Barcelona (Spain). Any help or advice would be welcome, Thanks
Wlecome to cruise-chat. In Barcelona, take the double-decker tour bus for a city tour (17Euro). They run a continuous circuitous route, with unlimited on/off privileges. You can pick it up at the World Trade Center, directly in the middle of the Cruise Ship Terminal and at the foot of the Columbus Monument, the location of the shuttle bus drop-off for many cruise ships. Highlights: La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi's Cathedral), Park GŁell, the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas.
You can find a lot of information about at each of these ports at our sister site PortReviews.com. Here is the link to the area you will be visiting: http://www.europeportreviews.com/
I cant help too much i'm afraid as never been to sardinia, Sicily or Toulon. I love Barca and have been many times, like to shop, especially El corte Ingles (dept store chain in Spain), take city tour, Gaudi tour, Football stadium, dancing fountains, Olympic sights, Beach and fab beachfront hotel, cant remember the name, but stop for a drink v.posh! The general rule is the farther back from the port front the safer you are, some of the areas can be a little seedy, you're ok in gothic quarter, lots of character too. Too much for a day so decide which bits youd like to see most, or do as i did last year on QM2 and take 1/2 day whistlestop coach tour with main sights, sagrada familia church, top of hill whos name escapes me, olympic sights and beach, and then when you get back to ship you can always get bus or taxi back to bottom of las ramblas for shopping etc..
For Naples, fab, beautiful Italian coastline to see, Amalfi coast, or Island of Capri, this is gorgeous, but most people tend to go for Pompeii and Vesuvius as this is unmissable!
Hope I am of some help.
Have a Fantastic cruise, and let us know which you chose!
Forgot to mention, over the years we have done a lot of European cities, and pickpocketing is becoming a real problem, remain vigilant, females should carry bags across body and make sure contents secure, men, nothing in back pockets please! watch watches etc which hang from hand as easy to snatch.
Sounds common sense, but you wouldnt believe the naivity of some.
Last year by Sagrada Familia in Barca, lady on our tour, walking with OPEN bag, IN HER HAND, felt something and young girl turned around quick and walked off. When she looked she got lucky and they had only swiped and cruise line hat, if she hadnt felt movement she had a camera and all her money in that bag, could have been much worse!
Four of us had a great time. I have been to Barcelona for a weekend break but did not know anything about the other places. Palermo in Sicily- went ashore but could not get on the tour bus as it was full. We did not want to wait an hour in the blazing sun so strolled around and took in the atmosphere. Had a few beers in the street bars. It was Good. next in Naples took the bus to the station-no charge. Train to Pompei was only 2.3Euros each way!Because it was Sunday Entrance was free. had traditional Pizza in restaurant opposite with wine-very reasonable and cought train/bus back. What a bargain. 4.6 Euros return each. Ships coach wanted £30 each! Toulon-went to tourist info. Got a 5euro ticket each. Bus stop 40 yds away took us up into the hills approx 20 mins. cable car to mount Farron top. fantastic views. Return to port. The ticket price included 3 boat trips to nearby resorts what a bargain. Olbia- Sardinia. Shuttle bus to centre of town. had agood stroll around old town. Sampled the local beer and had some traditional old fashioned Italian ice cream then back on ship for a laze in sun by pool. Barcelona- strolled up and down Ramblas then went to see some underground Roman ruins that have been excavated under one of the museums, they were unbelievable.Back to the ship and seen Liverpool FC win Champions league. Who needs ships tours? Final day back to Palma and we had a week in Santa Ponsa to chill out. What a great two weeks.
sounds like you had a great time, sometimes it is better to be independant of the tours and see more of the local flavour, i'm all for that.
Glad it all went so well.
Which ship did you sail? i'm guessing if you did santa ponsa it must have been Thomson, Island or OV?
Let us know, and put a review on about the whole package as it would be nice to hear all about it.